A New Start: Let's get over our gear buying addictions!

Steve Noel

All-Pro
Oct 5, 2010
Casey County, KY
Scanned the article. Pretty much what we have discussed/confessed before, but good, to be reminded of what "GAS" is. Pure lust for the latest, best, and self indulgence. But he is right. That doing photography, does help push back the need for more, better stuff. The more I shoot, the less gear, I am inclined to need/want. I'm tired of the gear owning me, instead of the other way around. My answer to myself: loose some stuff, and focus on "using", not "getting".
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
Jul 11, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
For the last few years, I've had the growing understanding of how the internet promotes GAS.

Think about it. We now have instant access to photographs and camera information from all around the world, and the ability to buy gear online. I used to think that having more than a couple of cameras was excessive, but as I looked at more and more flickr accounts, the more I saw people with four, five, ten cameras or more! When I only had a Canon S45, I looked in envy at the people with a Rebel/Xt, and even when I had a 30D, I used to wonder whether some day, I would go full frame as well. That day came and went, and I have the 5D Mark II, Leica M9, and a swag of lenses for both systems.

In the last decade, more and more people have gone multi-system. For some it is Nikon, Leica and Olympus. For others it is Sony Alpha, NEX and a few pocket cameras. But our ability to see others with truckloads of gear has a normative effect. What was once the exception is increasingly becoming the rule, not just because we can buy it, but because we see other people doing it, and it no longer seems excessive.

My GAS attack of 2012 began with a walk through the city in the winter. Cold and wet, I huddled under an umbrella while alternately trying to shoot with the M9 and hiding it from the rain. The OM-D was in full marketing swing, and the thought of a compact, weatherproofed body and lens was very enticing. So I got into m43, too. OM-D, Sigma 19, 30; Panasonic 14/2.5 and 12-35/2.8; Olympus 45 and 75. And this gave me a complete set for day to day shooting.

This year, as my work has become increasingly about video production, I've got a Panasonic GH3 and a few more lenses, not to mention a dolly slider, new tripod, light stand etc. While I can justify this for work, it also reflects the kind of gear I might have bought anyway, had I not been in this industry. The 35-100 and 7-14 are amazing on the OM-D and GH3!

But everything I buy now must answer the question: "where does this fit in the system, and how does it help me improve my photography and make more money?" Because now that I am fortunate enough to do what I love to make a living and a life, everything has to fit.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Well over two years ago in this same thread, I wrote:

I like GAS. Its not the same as photography, it won't make me a better photographer, but it CAN make photography more fun by at best finding the best camera(s) for the kind of shooting you like doing and your personal shooting style or at worst keeping the shooting experience fresh. and I'll now add that by keeping the experience fresh and fun, it probably DOES help make one a better photographer.

The gear and my shooting has changed a lot since then, but the basic attitude still holds. I'm not trying to "get over" anything - I'm enjoying every minute of both shooting AND enjoying new gear. No apologies, no surrender!

-Ray
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
One thing that I don't believe is that more gear is always limiting and that less gear will open everyone's mind up to great new worlds of creativity that they had hitherto never experienced. Find a balance that works for you (and your bank balance!).
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
If one feels the need to talk about a problem, then there's likely a problem. I'm not talking about having too much gear right now. I would, however, like to talk about not having enough time to spend on photography.
 

Steve Noel

All-Pro
Oct 5, 2010
Casey County, KY
I would, however, like to talk about not having enough time to spend on photography.
Luke I understand your desire completely. Been there.

Then, almost 5 years ago, I had pneumonia, and congestive heart failure. No more work. Plenty of time for photography! You sure don't want to go there, not yet. From outdoor, machinery operating, hard working, traveling man, to nearly helpless, was almost more than I could handle. Now much better. Can putter a bit in my wood shop, and other light activities, but tire easly. Not complaining, nor looking for pity. But, do miss being able to WORK!
 

BBW

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
All good responses to read and digest. I think having the appropriate bank balance, as you mentioned Nic, is pretty darn key.

My first photography class in college limited us to one little plastic camera - The Diana. At first we were aghast, but as I know I've said before on one of Amin's forums - one of my favorite photos since 1975 came about due to my using that little plastic camera. That said, I certainly wouldn't want that to be my only camera, nor do I even have it anymore!
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
Dallas, TX
Lili
I have not been shooting much, due to life issues. Then I was going through my flicker account and recalling the pleasure I took in this passion. Oddly the images I liked best came about when I was using just one camera. My GRD, F200EXR (I MISS that one), XZ-1 and Nokia N8 were all cameras I adored using exclusively when first I got them. Then the next big thing rolled around and I started drowning in gear. Plus less time, real life intruded and I started taking fewer and fewer pictures. So I have locked up all my cameras but my GRD III, and my phone. The Ricoh will be with me all the time now.
One camera, one lens.
Take pictures instead of buying gear.
Image Acquisition Syndrome.
 

BruPri

Top Veteran
May 11, 2011
Seattle, Washington USA
Bruce J. Pritchard
I've been on a buy/trade cycle for years. Each camera has had it's share of keepers, some more than others. Lately, it's come down to compromise, the Leica x2 had a look that none of the other MFT, NEX, Canon etc had. So I got my M9 and 35 chron I still had the Leica colors but settled for the 35 focal length. Then came the RX1 which I shot next to the Leica for a few weeks. The Sony won out as I was able to replicate the M9 look and pocket about 6K.
So, if someone would have told me a year ago that I would be shooting a fixed lens 35mm Sony, I would have laughed. Now, it's all about working to the strengths of the camera and putting aside some of the telephoto moon shots and all that for now. Oh... I still love being able to shoot macro, something I could never do with the M9 and my 35


 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
I just dropped by Oliver's blog, and I like his new term. Replace G.A.S with I.A.S (Gear with Image)

Confessions of an Image Addict: How I.A.S made me a better photographer and saved me thousands - Olivier "F8" Duong | Documentary & Street Photography

This is exactly right. Change the mental pattern.

Bringing this one back up for some fresh air. Who doesn't need a good clean dose?

While wasting time and procrastinating, I stopped over to DPreview and saw this: 'Letting Go of the Camera': Olivier Duong concludes look at gear addiction: Digital Photography Review. From their I clicked on the link to Olivier Duong's article here Letting go of the camera: The action steps I took to break free from gear addiction - Olivier "F8" Duong | Documentary & Street Photography and began reading. There are several parts to his essay and I'm still reading, and thought I'd share them with you all.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
There's a distinct advantage in having small, lightweight gear, as I was reminded this morning. The following shot, if taken from the vantage point of the guy poking around in his bulging sack of gear, would have been nothing short of brilliant. He didn't even notice the pelican taking off. He needs less gear.


Fiddling with gear by kyte50, on Flickr
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
Dallas, TX
Lili
There's a distinct advantage in having small, lightweight gear, as I was reminded this morning. The following shot, if taken from the vantage point of the guy poking around in his bulging sack of gear, would have been nothing short of brilliant. He didn't even notice the pelican taking off. He needs less gear.


Fiddling with gear by kyte50, on Flickr
Brilliant, Sue. I could not help it, my XZ-1 is out of timeout :)
 

LisaO

Regular
Jul 11, 2010
G.A.S. I certainly have it but it's fun for me. If you can't afford it, it is not a good thing to do. But it's my fun money, my discretionary income. I don't drink often or go out to bars clubs etc, I have no children and I drive a Prius (I save so much on fuel and get up to 50 MPG). These stories popping up lately are not going to make me feel bad about my hobby, passion and evolving collection.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
G.A.S. I certainly have it but it's fun for me. If you can't afford it, it is not a good thing to do. But it's my fun money, my discretionary income. I don't drink often or go out to bars clubs etc, I have no children and I drive a Prius (I save so much on fuel and get up to 50 MPG). These stories popping up lately are not going to make me feel bad about my hobby, passion and evolving collection.
EXACTY! I take it as a given that GAS only swells to the level one can afford it. Obviously nobody should buy something they cannot afford for a hobby (if a pro, maybe a different story - often you have to spend money to make money). But within that natural constraint, I don't see a downside to GAS. I enjoy it too! It doesn't, by itself make me a better photographer, but it doesn't hurt. And by helping to keep my enthusiasm and interest levels up, it probably does make me a better shooter in the long run.

-Ray
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
Dallas, TX
Lili
Collecting all you want is fine. My take on this that I found myself spending more time playing with gear than actually shooting.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom